Dime Q&A: Chris Andersen & Lou Williams Talk Converse, Kicks, Tattoos, Hip-Hop & NBA Lockout

The other day, our friends at Converse held an event in NYC to showcase their two new basketball sneakers – the Converse DEFCON and Converse Pro Leather 2K11. Hosted by Bobbito Garcia, Converse athletes Chris “Birdman” Andersen, Lou Williams and Kyle Korver were there to represent. After about a 30-minute Q&A with Bobbito, the athletes had the opportunity to interact with the media, and I got the chance to catch up with Birdman and Sweet Lou.

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Dime: What do you like most about being a part of the Converse family?
Chris Andersen: The family is more than humble. They’ve been good to me the whole time I’ve been with them. Anything I ever needed they were there to help me with. When my high school coach came to me for help, I asked Converse to sponsor his team with gear and they were all for it. Now Converse embraces his team, and they’re able to represent Converse. I really just love how humble they are, man.

Dime: You put a lot of wear and tear on your shoes with the way you play. Does the Pro Leather 2K11 provide enough stability for you on the court?
CA: I’ve been going through a lot of training with them. I’ve been doing a lot of basketball drills on the court, but I’ve also been doing some cross-training. I’m taking them off the court – which they were built for – and taking them out and putting them in the dirt, running railroad ties, running bleachers, running stairs. I’m putting a lot of endurance into them, and I ain’t had no problems yet. They still feel great. I’ve still got the same pair I’ve done that with, and I’m still running with them. I’m still putting them through hell. The shoes are really durable.

Dime: Have you ever met the other Birdman?
CA: You mean the rapper? I never got the opportunity to meet him. Even when I was playing down there in New Orleans, I never really got the opportunity to meet him face to face. I’m a huge fan of his stuff, though. I’ve definitely got a lot of his old stuff and still listen to it – especially because I grew up in Texas, man. They did a lot of stuff with DJ Screw and a few artists from Houston, so I definitely listened to a lot of Cash Money growing up. I still got a lot of all that stuff.

Dime: Who do you think has more tattoos: you or him?
CA: He does for sure.

Dime: Do you get all your tattoos from the same guy?
CA: I get all my tats pretty much from the same guy. John Slaughter from Tribe Tattoo out in Denver. I mess with Oliver Martinez and Chris Nunez down at Miami Ink, so I mess with those guys a little bit here and there, but John is my main guy.

Dime: In your opinion who in the league has the best ink?
CA: J.R. Swish!

Dime: Have you put him on to your tattoo artist?
CA: Yeah he’s gotten tatted up by my guy. I haven’t gotten any from his guy yet, though.

Dime: How do you think J.R. will do out in China this year? He guaranteed nightly triple-doubles. Do you think he can back that up?
CA: He’s gonna do what he does. He’s gonna be himself, you know, he’s gonna go out and shoot it. I’m definitely guaranteeing he’s gonna tear up the league over there – especially with his style of scoring.

Dime: The Nuggets drafted Kenneth Faried with their first-round pick this year. How do you think he can help the team win more games?
CA: He’s gonna help us out a lot eventually. He’s a young player, he definitely dominated in college a little bit, so I know he has the ability to dominate a little bit in the League too. He’s a monster on the glass, but we’ve got about seven bigs on the roster right now. Unless we’re gonna be putting bigs on the small forward or two guard, something’s gonna have to get done about that.

Dime: What have you been doing during the lockout?
CA: Training with my high school basketball coach down in Texas right outside of Houston. Aside from the basketball training, I’ve been running the incline and magnitude springs, running the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, pushing weights around, eating right and just trying to make sure I keep track of my weight for now.

Dime: What do you like most about being a part of the Converse family?
Lou Williams: I love that it’s really family oriented. We’re a small group, I think it’s only 10 or 11 of us. They pay attention to your detail, to the style of shoe you like to wear, the customization, everything. It’s just an overall great experience being a part of the team. I’m very happy at Converse and it’s organic for me so I’m cool.

Dime: What are your thoughts on the DEFCON?
LW: I’ve been playing and working out in them all summer. I’ve had them for like three or four months now. Dope shoe, that’s the one I’ll be wearing this year, so I’ve just been getting used to playing in them as much as possible and I’ve loved the way they feel.

Dime: How do they perform on the court?
LW: They perform great. I’ve been killing every Pro-Am game, so I guess that means they’ve been doing good. (laughs) But they’re really comfortable on me feet, it’s a great fit.

Dime: You shot the music video for Meek Mill‘s song “House Party” at your house in Atlanta. What was that like?
LW: It was crazy, man. Tt was a 24-hour party for my brother Meek. It’s gonna be the second single for him since he’s been with Maybach Music. It’s gonna be a major one for him. I actually had a chance to see a sneak peak of it last week and it looks crazy. It should be a big one for him, so I’m really excited about it.

Dime: How did you and Meek Mill become such good friends?
LW: We been down since Day 1 I was in Philly. We met through a mutual friend. We just been kicking it ever since.

Dime: Any surprises we can look forward to seeing in the video?
LW: Nah. I think everything is gonna be expected. It was just one big party. Everyone was at the crib, the whole Maybach team was there. We got crazy features, crazy cameos and we had a hell of a time shooting it, so I think everything in the video is gonna be well expected.

Dime: We’ve featured it in the mag before, but how’s your clothing line, Evol Rocx, doing?
LW: We got some good stuff on the way. It’s a really dope line. We’ve been developing the brand for a little bit now, so things are really coming together.

Dime: Aside from the clothing, what have you been doing to stay busy during the lockout?
LW: Just working out and playing. We doing the music too, the mixtape is coming as soon as it’s done – it’s just a matter of putting it together now. Getting all my features finished up and everything and that’s it.

Dime: What was the most exciting game you’ve played in since the lockout started?
LW: I played in some real good summer league games, but would have to be when Team Philly played Team Melo not too long ago with LeBron, ‘Melo and CP3. They came to Philly and we put on a good show in front of 17,000 people and were able to get the win.

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